The press materials for Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva contained glowing testimonials from women's groups, providing another reminder that such advocates needn't be overly concerned with originality. Granted, there's much to be said for a program featuring a smart, plus-sized heroine in today's rail-thin TV world, but "Diva" undernourishes its premise amid a sea of legal-procedural banalities. Stage actress Brooke Elliott makes for an appealing lead - always a good place to start - but constructing a show around her without the contrived "Here Comes Ms. Jordan" template might have been a more fruitful approach.
"Diva" begins with a simple premise: trapping an image-obsessed model inside an overweight woman's body. It's just that in the pilot, anyway, the epiphanies come a little too easily, and the legal triumphs predicated on knowledge of posing are a little too "Legally Blonde."
The introductory hour establishes Jane Bingum (Elliott) as a bright, up-and-coming attorney and Deb (Brooke D'Orsay) as the aforementioned model, who aspires to nothing more than a gig waving at furniture on "The Price Is Right." Both die well before their time - the latter a victim of her own shallowness, applying makeup while driving - before Deb causes a mix-up at heaven's gates that propels her soul back to Earth and into Jane's body.
Read the rest: Variety